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UK: The Department for Transport has proposed a short-term extension of Transport for London’s coronavirus pandemic emergency funding and financing support agreement, known as the H2 Funding Package, through to May 18.

The H2 package agreed last year currently covers the period from October 18 2020 to March 31 2021, and under DfT’s proposal submitted to TfL on March 18 would be extended on the same terms.

Elections for the London Assembly and he Mayor of London, a post currently held by Sadiq Khan of the opposition Labour party, are scheduled to be held on May 6.

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A DfT spokesperson said ‘the government is committed to supporting London’s transport network through the pandemic, and has already provided more than £3bn in emergency funding to TfL.

‘The roadmap set out by the Prime Minister to cautiously and safely reopen society and our economy means we can better understand the potential recovery in passenger demand, ensuring we deliver a sensible and appropriate deal in the future. We have therefore offered to roll over the existing funding deal until May 18 on the same terms as now, providing certainty over the pre-election period.’

TfL said it was reviewing the proposal and would respond in due course. It was also continuing discussions with DfT regarding the need for further financial support and a long-term capital funding deal to enable ‘a strong and robust’ recovery from the pandemic.

Commenting on the proposal, Labour’s Shadow Transport Minister Sam Tarry said ‘yet another piecemeal funding deal only serves to kick the can down the road for a few more weeks. The government needs to get a grip and finally deliver a long-term funding package that secures the future of our urban transport networks.’